Data and Analytics Strategy
Businesses have come to recognize the potential in data and analytics as a competitive advantage. Organizational success is increasingly being benchmarked against the effective use of data for decision making. It is no longer a secret that investors are flocking towards data driven businesses or companies that are generating, organizing, and utilizing data to drive value for their organizations.
The journey from realizing the importance of data and analytics to developing robust strategies that are in line with company objectives is sometimes long and arduous. But it does not have to be so! The following points will guide you through a step-by-step method to build a data strategy for your company.
What is a data and analytics strategic plan?
Data and analytics strategic plan is a document that outlines the actions needed for your organization to implement a new data and analytics program or provide structure to or improve upon an existing data and analytics plan. Think of it as a roadmap that will allow your company to achieve your organizational goals for data and analytics.
How to develop a data and analytics strategic plan?
Start with the vision of your company and think about how you can use data and analytics to help achieve/support that vision. This is help you build a vision for your data and analytics strategy. The key question that will help you determine that vision is: what is the state of the company you want to be after the implementation of a dynamic data and analytics strategy.
Sample Company Vision: “To be the premier furniture manufacturer in Europe”
Sample Data and Analytics Vision: “To be completely data driven in all operational processes.”
Once the data and analytics vision is determined, it will allow you to set achievable SMART goals. It is a good practice to limit the goals to less than five as that helps with organizational focus. These goals will include a high level breakdown of what are the areas you want to focus on where you believe data and analytics can help achieve organizational goals.
Sample Goal: “Reduce paper-based status reporting in operations by 50% by Q2 2021.”
Once goals are determined, the tactical plan will break down into steps, all that needs to be achieved to reach a particular goal. These typically require technical expertise with a data and analytics professional to guide the stakeholders through the details of the requirements.
Before a strategic plan is finalized, it is important to identify the key performance indicators that will help leadership ascertain the success and progress of the strategic initiative.
Strategic plans are only as good as their implementation, so it is vital for an organization to entrust the right team (internal or external) with the right knowledge of data platforms and solutions and an understanding of business goals and challenges.
Why should you develop a data and analytics strategic plan?
Implementation of fancy analytical tools or big data programs are seldom successful for any organization if they are onboarded without a strategic plan in mind that aligns with business objectives. Therefore, a robust data and analytics strategic plan can save a company capital spend, unearth business opportunities, and most importantly provide the framework for the company to achieve its business goals and find its competitive edge!